Another layer of separation has descended upon Inland Southern California. Today, the era of 951 begins.

The 909 shrinks today as Riverside and San Bernardino counties begin a slow separation that will give each its own numeric identity (with western Riverside County becoming 951).

… San Bernardino County residents and businesses will keep their familiar 909 numbers, as will people in Calimesa, which is in Riverside County near the San Bernardino County line.

The change doesn’t affect anyone with a 760 area code, which includes the Coachella Valley.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – July 17, 2004

But, one question remains — how long will this new area code for western Riverside County last? The 909 (1992) era lasted only 12 years before being split into the 951. Before that, the region was part of 714 (1951). And before that, part of 213 — the original area code for Southern California upon the initial North American Numbering Plan (NANP) finalized in 1947 (which didn’t officially begin until 1951).

Considering the explosion in personal telecommunications, it seems it’s only a matter of time before 10-digit dialing becomes the norm. Which, though it was well before our time, such dialing prospects kinda makes one want to go back to using the old telephone exchange method wherein OVerland-7-4658 would mean dialing 687-4658 back in the day in Riverside.


Sources: Riverside Press-Enterprise, North American Numbering Plan (NANP)

2024 PAGE UPDATE: Added newspaper citation/insert; added minor context/clarification; removed image; removed outdated links to newspaper article and Related content; updated Related content.

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